The spam/phishing emails coming out these days are REALLY good! I have received two in the last three days that would have fooled me if I didn’t know what to look for. They can mimic the site, the logos, and more. They are trying to get you to log into your account so they can grab your login information to access your account. The problem is, once you do that – they got you!
Most companies are aware of the problem and now have email addresses set up to report issues like this. Go directly to their website and look for such email addresses to forward these to, it helps them track the spammers/phishers!
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself online to prevent identity theft:
1. No company should ask you for personal information via email….period. Never give a social security number or any other personal information via email or an email link. Most reputable companies will not ask for this kind of information. If they do you probably shouldn’t be working with them anyways.
2. Never click through an email to log into a site – go to that site directly. If they say your account is “deactivated” or “disabled” it probably isn’t. Log into the site directly to find out. DON’T click the email link. This is how they collect your information.
3. Look at the email. firstname.lastname@example.org – is probably not Paypal. It is likely a phishing site. The portion before the .com should be the website and there should be nothing associated with it (i.e. link.paypal.com).
4. If in doubt, pick up the phone and call or email them directly. Better to be careful then sorry!
5. Watch for spelling and bad grammar – this is a sure fire sign of a spam or phishing email!
If you have any other tips, please leave a comment!